by Bob Ladendorf
Recent news and sources of interest, with brief summaries and a rating of the content: 1 = Pro-skeptical; 2 = Leaning skeptical; 3 = Neutral, presenting sides equally; 4 = Leaning paranormal/pseudoscientific; 5 = Pro-paranormal.
"Can Faith Heal?" Bob Condor, Chicago Tribune , Dec. 4, 1996, Tempo -- Sec. 2, p. 1 -- Explores positive connections between religious beliefs and physical health. Cites studies supporting assertions that believers get healthier more than nonbelievers. Selected quote: " Perhaps we are even wired for God as a survival mechanism to counter the angst, [Dr. Herbert] Benson [author of Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief] said." Rating: 4
News Reports Weeping painting and Virgin Mary sighting. Channel 20 News, Springfield, Illinois, Dec. 24, 1996. Report on a Bethleham church painting that has "tears." The report indicated that the city was broke, and this sighting was bringing in tourists. The other report showed a crowd in another country looking at a reflection in a building that resembled the Virgin Mary, according to some witnesses. Rating: 3